Album Review: Local Natives – Gorilla Manor

I’m beginning to wish they all could be California bands. No, really. The latest conglomeration of Californios I’m currently salivating over is Local Natives. They’ve arisen from the hipster haven of Silver Lake (though technically hail from elsewhere) and shot me through with many Cupidian arrows of musical amour. Gorilla Manor, their new full length, is at this very minute making my heart go pitter-patter, and quite possibly might induce swooning at any moment.

Gorilla Manor takes its name from the house the band once shared, and in which substantial portions of the record were written. A friend of mine once lived in a house dubbed The Rape Cave, in Richmond, but that’s neither here nor there, really. I’m not holding my breath for an album of the same name. Digressions aside, Gorilla Manor, the record, is choc full of loveliness in many forms.

The full-on foxiness of the record begins immediately. “Wide Eyes” opens the album with some haunting harmonizing and entrancing drumming, not to mention that blissful guitar, the sum total of which is magnificent. At times, Local Natives sound a whole lot like Fleet Foxes, hitting perfectly glorious notes of harmony heavenliness. It kinda sorta makes me think of Fleet Foxes vacationing in LA, sitting in Adirondack chairs watching the sun descend over the hills.

“I wanna lift/my hands towards the sun,” they sing in “Sun Hands”, yet another gorgeous summery shimmer of a song. “World News” practically blows my mind with all the impeccable harmonizing (really, it’s almost like they’re showing off at this point) and overall glorious noise. It’s painfully beautiful, but isn’t meant to be put on the mantle in the formal living room in which kids aren’t allowed. There’s some definite kick to Gorilla Manor, for as lovely as the songs are they’ve got some spicy feistiness. And I like it.

Gorilla Manor. A name definitely not giving anything away in terms of the depths of golden beauty to be found in the album’s twelve songs. But it’s a name you should definitely make yourself familiar with, if you haven’t already. And go ahead and just accept the fact that it’s one of the best records of the year.

mp3: World News (Local Natives from Gorilla Manor)


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